Novel successes and woes

I’ve been glued to my chair working on my novel for months: writing new scenes, converting dialogue into inner monologues, changing tense from present to past, creating new chapters where three asterisks indicated breaks in the text, and generally editing as I went through it over and over again.

A little bit about my new scenes* process:

  • I marked up my manuscript to indicate where (with page number) a new scene was needed and what the scene should consist of.
  • I highlighted that marker in yellow.
  • I then copied the marker and pasted it in a new document called New Scenes.
  • I created the new scenes in the New Scenes document – without touching my original manuscript.
  • When I finished creating the scenes I edited them several times to make them as mature as my original manuscript, already in its eighth draft.
  • Then I merged the scenes into the manuscript, starting from the end of the book, so I wouldn’t mess with the page numbers
  • And as I copied and pasted the new scenes in, I struck through the text in the New Scenes doc, to indicate that it had been merged.

*My editor suggested I add new scenes to help with the pace of the novel and flesh out the characters a bit more.

And now I’m left with a book that is over 103,000 words.

A year or two ago my novel had 99,000 words, which I whittled down to 85,000. Needless to say, that was tough going. So right now, I’m at a loss as to how to keep the necessary new material and cut out 3,000 to 10,000 words or so to be in keeping with Writer’s Digest’s Chuck Sambuchino’s,  guidelines:

80,000 – 89,999:        Totally cool
90,000 – 99,999:        Generally safe
70,000 – 79,999:        Might be too short; probably all right
100,000 – 109,999:    Might be too long; probably all right
Below 70,000:            Too short
110,000 or above       Too long

I may be okay, but I don’t want to push my luck.

If any of you have any suggestions, I’m a willing listener.

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